Hello friends! Today we are in for a special treat – a new Dinner with Friends! If you are new to our little site, Dinner with Friends is where we showcase the amazing dinner parties you all are having! It’s one of my favorite columns as it let’s us brag on all of your amazing recipes, entertaining skills, and thoughtful lifestyle you are creating in your community – what could be better?!
Today’s feature is from Katie & Morgan and their awesome blog – Cora & Louise (you will have to read about the thought behind their name). So saddle up, scroll down, and read all about what thoughtful entertaining means to them and feast your eyes on this magical evening they created!
What does entertaining mean to you?
Entertaining is one of the most fun ways to make people feel loved. Inviting people to sit at your table, come to your party or celebrate with you is so meaningful. It’s a special excuse to play with friends (both new and old). Entertaining revolves around wanting to create a space for the people we love to know they are special to us and worth celebrating.
How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?
We love making feel welcomed in a real/ tangible way — by hugging them and making sure we vocalize how much we love them and how happy we are they came. Our words and actions can make or break wether or not someone feels welcomed in a place. (Also, offering coffee or wine is never a bad idea after the hug of course!)
What is your favorite “go-to”? A party game, a recipe, favorite cocktail, etc.
Our favorite go-to is inviting people over for brunch. It’s debatably the best meal of the day and you always have eggs, bread and fruit on hand and can throw together a great brunch without a long grocery list! Favorite cocktail: Gin & tonics with lots of lime (Hendrick’s gin is our favorite!)
What makes you nervous about having people over?
Only a couple things make us nervous about having people over — the kitchen being a mess when people arrive or the hot dishes not being ready. Multitasking and talking to your guests/ making them feel comfortable and at home when they arrive isn’t easy if you’re kitchen is a hot mess and you’re still trying to check what’s in the oven every five minutes. As long as the food is ready and the big messes and the kitchen can be cleaned up before people come over, the focus can be on them and piecing together drinks and other small dishes once they arrive! That is why a kitchen co-pilot is so important! Because it was our very first dinner party, our close friend Justin was there the full day of to help clean and get things ready as guests arrived. We were so thankful for his help!
Tell us about tonight? How did you plan? How did you come up with the recipes, etc?
We planned A LOT, but didn’t actually put everything together until 24 hours before the dinner party. We messaged back and forth on Instagram and texted photos for MONTHS before nailing down a menu. We sourced the recipes from different cookbooks and drew inspiration from posts we saw online. After we found the perfect combination of our favorite recipes & each picked three close friends to invite, we wrote the menu and invitations.
The day before the dinner party we went to our favorite coffee shop to nail down final details and plan our grocery list. We picked up candles, lights, our table, chairs, extension cords, table cloths, and everything that was on our growing list. We drove around picking up last minute items, foraging for greenery (literally from the fields on our collage campus haha), and picking out outfits for the next day.
The actual night was sweeter than we could have ever dreamed. We sat in a small field, under twinkling lights, eating delicious food and sharing our dreams (we each went around the table and shared our big dreams with one another – it helped the guests who didn’t know each other well get to know one another and we each got to learn about each other, which was such a sweet and special moment for us as hosts) with new and old friends. Toasts were given, music was playing, we watched the sun go down all while taking big bites between laughs and telling stories. After a long day of preparing, cooking, and hosting, once the people we loved were sitting around the table experiencing the meal and ambiance we had been dreaming of, everything was worth it & the smiles on their faces was affirmation enough of a job well done.
Give us your favorite entertaining tip!
Our tip is — cut corners where you can, but don’t skimp on the details! No one will notice or judge you if your bread is store bought or not everything is a gourmet recipe. But they will notice their place setting and name plate. Put extra time and effort into the small details and presentation to make people feel special and worry less about making homemade cheese.